Hero of The Game
The way the New York Giants opened up against the Tampa Bay Bucs, the last thing you would've guessed was Eli Manning having a record setting performance. I tend to think the hero of the game has a direct impact that effects the final score, therefore I had to consider a few Giants other than Manning.
Though Manning played well down the stretch, Manning was unquestionably the zero or "goat" of the first half throwing three interceptions and trailing 24-13 at the half. But the guy who had a direct impact in the fortunes of the G-Men and played a complete sound football game was none other than #80 Victor Cruz.
Though it was Hakeem Nicks who finished with 10 catches, 199 yards, and a TD that sparked a early air attack, to me it was Cruz who changed the momentum with five key third down conversions, including a 80 yard td bomb that bought them within two late in the fourth quarter.
Again the hero should be someone who without there timely efforts the team would have lost, well on third and two with six minutes and 59 seconds remaining who came up with the key score two potentially tie the game? Victor Cruz! Cruz is the hero because not only did Cruz catch the potential game tying catch but he also finished with astounding record setting numbers with 11 catches, 179 yards and a td. A game changing touchdown that had to come at that time and did, Ala Victor Cruz.
Zeros of The Game
For the zero of the game, there wasn't a individual who single handily lost this football game. You would've thought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary was the strength in this week two match up, picking off Manning three times in the first half leaving Manning just 9-18 for 215 yards, 1td and 3ints. The zero of the game goes to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary giving up 510 yards passing, 3tds, and a game changing third down and two bomb to Cruz and the New York Giants.
After the Bucs nearly shut down the New York Giant wide outs in the first half, they came out the second half and got toasted for 295 yards and two touchdowns. Ronde`Barber, Aqib Talib, Brandon McDonald, Eric Wright and the rest of the Tampa Bay Buc secondary collectively earned the crown of the zero, giving up 510 yards passing and a game changing 80 yard TD that had the Giants offense facing a third down that could've prevented their agonizing 41-34 loss to the explosive, high octane New York Giants. What a game!